Monday, May 28, 2012

It takes more than remembrance

A movement has been started to design and build another wall for Vietnam veterans.  Not for those who died during the war.  No, this memorial would be for those who killed themselves after the war. 
Even the Government agrees that at least 20,000 Vietnam vets have committed suicide since the end of the War.  We know that every statistic the Government gave us over the years the War was active was a  lie, so I suspect this number is too low. 
Most of the organizations looking at this problem deal in higher numbers, figures that range from 50,000 to 200,000 suicides. 
I can accept the Government figures.  20,000 suicides is enough for me to recognize that the American people and the American government have not, do not and will not treat the veterans with the care and respect they deserve.
Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are killing themselves at disturbingly high rates and still there is no truly serious and comprehensive program to serve these vets.  Oh, there are concerns, there is talk, but only a smidgen of commitment.
Now, we have this report:
"America's newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate...A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking compensation for injuries they say are service related.  That is more than double the estimated 21 per cent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials said.
"These new veterans are claiming eight or nine ailments on average, and the most recent over the last year are claiming 11 to 14....
"These new veterans are seeking a level of help the government did not anticipate, and for which there is no special fund available."
Imagine that!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Death of a Legend

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from being repeatedly poked in the belly.  He was 71.
Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin.  Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkie, and Captain Crunch.  The grave site was piled high with flours.
Aunt Jemima delivered the euology and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.  Born and bread in Minnesota, Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers.  He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.  Despite being a little flaky at times,  he lived to be a crusty old man and was considered a roll model for millions.
Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough, and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven.  He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.
The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

I suppose everyone in the world has read this before but it was new to me and I laughed till I cried.  Apparently I have a broad sense of humor.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Counterterrorism stinks from moral rot.

"White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan defended the administration's campaign of drone missile attacks against militants while acknowledging Sunday that the airstrikes have sometimes killed noncombatants.
"Unfortunately, in war, there are casualties, including among the civilian population,"  Brennan said on ABC's This Week, answering a question about the covert drone program...."Sometimes you have to take lives to save lives and that's what we've been able to do to prevent these individual terrorists from carrying out their murderous attacks."
This is NOT collateral damage.  Collateral damage is defined as an inadvertent and unintentional loss of life or physical destruction as a result of a military action.  What Mr. Brennan describes is the intentional and knowing murder of innocents as part of a program to kill individuals deemed as terrorists.  Who does the 'deeming' is unknown.
American willingness to cause the murder of innocents for policy reasons is not new.  Read an example here.
I am outraged and sickened by this.  I am not surprised that there are people in the world who want to do us harm.  How could it be otherwise?

Friday, May 11, 2012

J P Morgan Chase is my bank.

J P Morgan Chase announces that it has lost $2 billion dollars in the past few weeks and it expects to lose $1 billion more.
Well, so much for "Lessons learned."

So much for the belief that "We don't need more regulation."
It should be obvious that bankers are not only greedy;  they are stupid too.

But how can that be?  Banks are a cornerstone of 'the private sector' which never gets it wrong.
Oh, yeah.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Big Hurt

There were 12,000,000 prescriptions for oxycontin in the United States last year (2011).

It seems that Americans are in a lot of pain.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I like the Post Office

Many statements and invoices which I receive contain the following message boldly printed on their envelopes:   "No stamps to buy.  No mail to send.  Just easy online payments."

So?  What's wrong or difficult about buying stamps?  What is wrong or difficult about sending mail?  I believe they are pretending a problem exists when there is no problem.

 The United States Post Office is a very useful institution.  I appreciate it.  I even revere it and its long history from the time of the Founding Fathers  who started the enterprise.  I also know, that if even a great many individuals don't need it, there are many who do.  I side with them because I still believe (unlike so many moderns) that we are in this together.